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Poster: Monte B Cowboy Date: Jan 15, 2013 11:23am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 5/3/70 Wesleyan video and SBD tape

I graduated high school the year before this GD show at Wesleyan. I wasn't a deadhead yet. My older brother was getting drafted at this time. He had just finished going to an aviation school. Instead, the Naval Air Reserves accepted him due to his aviation training. I was next in line to get drafted. The shit was hitting the fan: very unfavorable war in Vietnam!

Thanks to an eleven-year-old kid, we're finally getting this "uniquely American" story straight: May 3, 1970 was the day before the Kent State Massacre.

The first week of May in 1970 American history was all about our war in Vietnam.

On April 30, 1970, in a televised address, President Nixon announced to the nation that an "incursion" into Cambodia had been launched by United States combat forces.


"In cooperation with the armed forces of South Vietnam, attacks are being launched this week to clean out major enemy sanctuaries on the Cambodian-Vietnam border.

A major responsibility for the ground operations is being assumed by South Vietnamese forces. For example, the attacks in several areas, including the Parrot's Beak that I referred to a moment ago, are exclusively South Vietnamese ground operations under South Vietnamese command with the United States providing air and logistical support.

There is one area, however, immediately above Parrot's Beak, where I have concluded that a combined American and South Vietnamese operation is necessary.

Tonight, American and South Vietnamese units will attack the headquarters for the entire Communist military operation in South Vietnam. This key control center has been occupied by the North Vietnamese and Vietcong for 5 years in blatant violation of Cambodia's neutrality.

This is not an invasion of Cambodia. The areas in which these attacks will be launched are completely occupied and controlled by North Vietnamese forces. Our purpose is not to occupy the areas. Once enemy forces are driven out of these sanctuaries and once their military supplies are destroyed, we will withdraw."

— an excerpt from Nixon's Address to the Nation on the Situation in Southeast Asia, televised live on April 30, 1970.

At Kent State University, a massive demonstration was held on May 1, 1970 on the Commons, and another had been planned for May 4.

On May 4, 1970, Ohio National Guard troops opened fire on peaceful student protesters at Kent State University. They shot and killed four students, two of whom were not protesters. One of the students killed was William Knox Schroeder. William Schroeder had been walking from one class to the next when he was gunned down. Schroeder was also a member of the campus ROTC chapter.

Wait a minute, my dad was ROTC (Harvard). Imagine that! After graduation my dad flew planes over north Africa in WW II and he was shooting film. This is how he got his VA funeral when he passed away over twenty years ago. It turns out my older brother gets into aviation. It turns out I get into taping GD, then shooting video, and then working in electronics in broadcasting. (Is there any genetics going on here?)

Vietnam looms largely today, Jan 15, 2013. We have Vietnam combat veterans Chuck Hagel being nominated for Secretary of Defense, and John Kerry being nominated for Secretary of State.

During the first week of May, 1970, GD had one very brilliant and shining moment. This was the free benefit concert at the M.I.T. student protest on Kresge Plaza on May 6, 1970. For me, this was by far GD's finest moment.

An Unscheduled Freebie on May 6, 1970 - discussion thread for TDIH